Superdome win earns Destrehan new turf

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2008

Benefits of artificial surface include fewer injuries, increased durability


Staff Reporter

LULING- The Destrehan High School football team may be reaping a reward for its 5A State Championship win in the Superdome last year.

The St. Charles Parish School Board opened up bids Wednesday for artificial turf installation at both Destrehan and Hahnville High Schools.

Design Engineer Danny Hebert estimates the cost of the project to be $1 million to $1.5 million.

“$480,000 is the turf surface, everything else is soil amendments and drainage sites,” said Hebert.

Sesser said the turf will save money for the school district, be safer for players and will open up the field to more uses.

“It has pretty much become the standard for schools in the United States,” said Facilities Director Larry Sesser.

The natural grass surface will be pulled up and in its place a drainage system will be laid down along with wiring for play clocks outside of the end zones and brackets for new goalposts before being covered with a permanent artificial playing surface.

Sesser said the artificial field is superior to a grass field because grass takes many more maintenance man-hours. Grass fields, in addition to being watered and fertilized, require mowing once or twice a week. Also, a lot of time is spent painting lines and logos on the field before each event.

The artificial fields will take little to no upkeep and will have permanent lines for football, soccer and track events. Permanent school logos will also adorn the field.

Sesser said the field will lessen injuries due to better water drainage and shock absorbing impaction rubber to cushion the falls of players.

Sesser said another reason the schools needed the artificial turf was due to limited use of the field from fear of damaging it.

“Right now with football in the rainy season we only use the football field once a week,” said Sesser.

Due to its durability the artificial turf will open the field for other uses during sports seasons such as practice for sports teams, marching band and drills for ROTC.

Hebert said the turf should last 10-20 years before replacement, and the replacement will only consist of the uppermost part of the turf at an estimated cost of $480,000.

The accepted bid for the project will be revealed at a school board meeting in the school board headquarters in Luling on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008 at 6 p.m.